I should have been thrilled. My husband had just gently told me that he felt called to a new life and ministry, and that it also meant moving across the country to get his education. He had his sights set on Colorado, where I’d spent vacations and family reunions. I adored the beautiful mountain vistas, the trails laden with pine needles, the ice-cold streams, and the dusty rodeos.
But none of that mattered to me. We had bought a home in North Carolina, across the street from our favorite park and lake. We’d been there less than three years, but already made a group of close-knit friends who were in a similar stage in life and seeking after God. We were involved in our church, we knew the ins and outs of our town, and I had a hairstylist that I loved. (It’s so hard to find, ladies.)
We’d had a tough transition from the Midwest to the South, but now that we were settled, I was happy. And I never wanted to go through that kind of challenge again.
That’s why, despite the promise of a purple mountain majesty, I wasn’t thrilled. I was scared. And I’d already announced to my husband that I never wanted to move again.
I was done with big changes, and God knew it. I’d closed a door and hidden my heart behind it, where I could feel comfortable and safe. But God knew that “comfortable and safe” was really code for afraid. It’s just like God to knock on that door I’d firmly shut and challenge me, however gently, to open it.
He had more for me in Colorado, but I didn’t want to even entertain the idea. He wanted me to trust Him in the very area I’d decided to only trust myself. God is wise that way, and I am stubborn.
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
If I could have seen what God had for us in the seven years we were to live in Colorado, I would have been eager to get there. I would have tearfully said goodbye to our friends who had become family, and then cheerfully said hello to the Mile High city.
But God wanted me to go through the darkness in order to get to the light. He wanted to grow me so that I could follow His gentle leading instead of my own desires.
I spent the next few days and weeks in prayer. I came to accept that God might be leading us in a new direction. With my blessing, my husband applied and was accepted to the graduate school he’d chosen, and we decided to put our house on the market. One day later, it was sold.
In the end, I opened the door. I allowed God to guide me through my fears and learned to trust Him in all circumstances. In Colorado, we found a wonderful church, we made dear friends, we fell in love with the mountains, we went to lots of rodeos, and we had our first child. I don’t think I would have believed it all even if God had shown me.
I found I could trust Him and welcome new beginnings, even if it’s hard to say goodbye to the previous chapter of our lives. I learned that especially when I feel my hand reaching out to close a door, it’s time to be open to His will and guidance. God always has something good for me in the long run. Even if it means questionable haircuts for a while.
Leave a Comment
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Michele Morin says
Laura, thank you for sharing this story of your wrestling — and then trusting. Because we don’t have the benefit of an aerial view of our lives, it’s wise for us to trust the One who does. But that does not come easily it seems. . .
I’m thankful for the shared journey of others who have leaned on His understanding and found it better than their own.
Thanks so much, Michele. I love how you put that! I’m so glad God has an aerial view of my life. His perspective is perfect, and mine is flawed. It’s good to know we’re on this journey together, trusting Him when we’d rather say no.
Tonya Salomons says
Wow! Every morning, and this morning was no exception, I sit and pen out three journal pages of fast writing. Whatever’s on my mind at the time. This morning my pages will full of fear. You see, my husband and I made this HUGE change in our lives just 6 months ago. While I was finishing Grad school we moved from the area we had lived in for most of our 26 years of marriage. A small lovely city with a beautiful community of friends. Professionally I had built this great network in the social services industry and was looking forward to putting my newly minted social work degree to use.
And then my husband lost his job and very quickly found new employment in a large city far enough away from where we were living to warrant the biggest move of our marriage! And I felt, I still feel like I lost so much. And just this morning I filled my three pages with doubt, fear and yes, even anger.
When I was done with my three pages I glanced at my email and found your words right and here and thought — well that’s sort of perfect timing. So thank you for penning about your own fears and doubts. And this verse “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)” They were a soothing balm this morning and helped me see a new perspective. It was an encouragement to view all of this change, not through the lens of fear, but to see it as how God is moving in our lives. He has orchestrated every part of this move – now I need to trust him to finish what he started in our lives and know that he is with us always.
Tonya, “wow” right back at you! God’s timing is perfect, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your story. I love that you’re looking through the lens of His guidance, and I’m so glad God is encouraging you through the big changes in your life. I’m praying for you!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I can really relate to your post. Like you I’ve made several BIG moves around and across this Nation of ours. I bristle at the thought of change and yes fear plays a major factor. Some moves I was somewhat okay with, others I went kicking and screaming. But, God was there in the midst of all of it. He was with me in a new city surrounded by boxes. He was with me in the moments of joy and in the tear stained pillows. I did learn, solidly, that He will NEVER leave nor forsake me. One scripture that I have clung to through major change is this: Exodus 23:20 – NIV: “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” I know at all times, God goes ahead of me and prepares a place for me. It might not be “happily ever after” right away, but He never sends me without already being there first. In that I take great comfort. Great post!
Bev, that is beautiful. I love the verse you shared and your thoughts on God’s presence no matter where you are called to go.
Laura and Bev,
So timely for me for all I have read especially the scriptures. I am going through a season where I must trust the Lord completely with what is next for my career. It’s not back but forward. A reminder yet again, HE has this!
Little Mary says
This is really perfect timing for me, too. Though I haven’t had to move away from home too many times yet, I’ve been encouraged by your post to really trust God, no matter how different my will may be from His. I have a lot less experience than many of you ladies (because I’m a little younger than most of you) but I’m in front of some college exams next week, and here I am, lying in bed with a fever and totally feeling down. I don’t understand why the Lord would make studying even harder for me than it already is and maybe even need to miss my exams, but I do trust Him to know what He’s doing.
Thank you so much for this well-written encouraging post!
Mary, I’m so thankful that you’ve been encouraged to trust Him! I remember having a hard time with those days in college, and I know God is with you, guiding you through them like He did for me. He sees so much more than we do, and you’re never too young to appreciate that.
Little Mary says
Thank you, Laura, for your kind words and understanding heart 🙂 !
Thank you Laura for your enLIGHTening post – in Isaiah 42:16, the Lord promises, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, I will guide them; I will turn darkness into LIGHT before them and make the rough places smooth” – Psalm 119:105 reminds us “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a LIGHT on my path” – in Jeremiah 29:11, He shares, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to give you hope and a future” – He is always there ahead of us, preparing our path – the beacon of LIGHT – the LIGHThouse – trust in Him, for He will carry us through the darkness to see the LIGHT – carry is whereever we are called to go – blessings all!
Thank you so much for sharing those scriptures, Debra!
Ellen Cole says
Thank you for this reminder. My husband and I moved to a new city in September 2016. Then moved again in August 2017, after we learned how that the place we’d chosen required a 2+ hour commute each way for the new job I’d found. So far, we haven’t found a tight-knot group of friends or a church we’re (I’m) one-hundred percent sold on yet. My husband works long hours, so I spend a lot of time alone and, frankly, it’s been lonely. That said, I’m hopeful. I know that God has a plan, we just don’t yet know what it is. I try to always return to the old favorite poem attributed to a few different authors, so I’m leaving it as “anonymous” Anyone who has seen the underside of a tapestry…or any embroidery/needlepoint project…will understand what a beautiful metaphor this is:
“Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem)
“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”
Thank you Ellen for sharing this poem – So beautiful – a perfect metaphor!
Little Mary says
Truly awesome poem! And so true! Thanks for sharing 🙂 !!
Ellen, I know a bit about what you’re going through, and I know it can be lonely. I’m hopeful for God’s plan for you too. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and the poem!
Texas Aggie Mom says
Love this poem, which reminds me of an analogy my former pastor shared, knowing that I did needlework. He said “Look at the back side of that piece of needlework. It’s just strings and knots. It’s ugly. No one would ever want to see it like it is. But when it’s finished and you turn it over, the complete picture will come into view. It’s like that for us on earth – all we see are the strings and knots. When we get to heaven we’ll see the complete picture and it will be beautiful to us.” This post spoke deeply to me in a season when I may have to change jobs less than two years from retirement. Trying to shift my focus from terrified to excited, but I’m not there yet. I will print and keep your words in my Bible as a reminder. Thank you for touching my heart today!
Ellen Cole says
If it helps, since we moved for my husband’s promotion, I had to find a new job in my new city and am in my mid-50s. Being unemployed for about 3 months became scary and every time I wasn’t chosen for a position I felt very much rejected. Of course, I began to wonder if I was ever going to get something. I worked with a staffing agency and started as a temp in a great company (consistently one of the top ten places to work in Boston in an annual employee survey through a newspaper). EVIDENTLY, experience can trump age! Who knew? I was converted to permanent within 4 months and now have what has become my favorite job ever at a salary which is significantly higher than I’ve ever made. God had the whole thing in hand.
Thank you for. The wonderful poem. Truly God holds the threads of our lives.
Dawn Burnside says
It’s amazing to me when I read stories such as yours with scripture that literally tugs at my heart.
Change is hard & fearful sometimes & exciting at other times. In the season of my life right now I am fearful of “big” change & I am convicted & know that is what is needed. But reading this scripture, the story of your journey & prayer, I clearly see that I don’t really see at all, it’s my vision instead of God’s. I just have to have faith & know that my Lord will “help me”. That’s way bigger than my fears. Submit & I will straighten your paths. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story, I love where you ended up & I want to leave the door open too. Sincere Thanks & God Bless,
Dawn, big changes are so hard for me too, as I’m sure you can tell. 🙂 I’m just grateful that God’s working on my heart so I can lean on Him more and more. I pray that God blesses you for opening that door.
Barb Douma says
Thank you so much for sharing. This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I am going through a similar situation and have dug my heels in. I know I need to relinquish control and trust God, but it’s a daily struggle. Yet, I know He has His best in mind for me and my family. Let’s not even talk about the hair!
It can be so tough! Glad God is speaking to you this morning. And about the hair–I had to go there, didn’t I? 😉
Kim B Smith says
Thank you for these amazing words and the scriptures. I will be praying around those all day for I am experiencing change. I love change, but I also do not like the unknown. Everyday, sometimes minute to minute I have to remind myself to trust in Jesus. Allowing for our Father to take my right hand and lean into to this. I do know one thing, I got this if I allow Him to lead.
You are so welcome and I love what you shared here, especially “I got this if I allow Him to lead.”
Pearl Allard says
Laura, I appreciate your humor: “God always has something good for me in the long run. Even if it means questionable haircuts for a while.” Just love this! Truth and humor are a great combination. 🙂
Thanks so much, Pearl. I’m a fan of both of those things too!
Heather L. Mattern says
Thank you, Laura, for your post. It can be so hard to let go and trust His plans for us sometimes, especially when we are comfortable and safe. But His ways are higher than our ways, and He can do more with our lives than we can ask or even imagine, if we just trust Him. Easy to say, hard to do. Thanks for your example of how He can bless our obedience and faith. It makes me wonder what great blessings I might have said no to by listening to my fear and playing it safe rather than trusting in His plans. I pray I can be more open to His leading and His awesome plans for me and my family. Thanks and God bless, Heather
Heather, I love your response. The hardest thing for me to let go of is my own sense of comfort when God is calling me to something different. Praying for you as well!
Oh my goodness, thank you! My husband and I are looking at an empty nest in just 5 short months. And with it, we’re planning on making the actual nest smaller by half. I’ve been feeling mostly trepidatious and sorrowful with an occasional dose of excitement. But reading this, I realize I need to amp up the excitement and tamp down the anxiety! He’s got it, I know. And now I just need to know it in every cell of my body, brain and heart. Thank you for these timely words. ❤️
Cynthia, I love how you’re allowing God to transform your anxiety into excitement. I hope you feel God’s presence with you wherever you go.
Adrienne Early says
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I needed to hear this today, as I’m going through a darkness right now, as well. It’s hard to trust God, even though he’s come through so many times before. I keep asking “Are you sure, God? Do you REALLY know what you’re doing?” I’m hoping my open door comes soon, and hopefully it’s a big blessing like yours was for you. 🙂
I know what you mean, Adrienne. I’m hoping and praying for the same thing for you.
Adrienne Early says
Thank you. I appreciate your prayers. 🙂
I’m no stranger to change, as a child of a Church Planter, we moved around …. a lot. Always a new neighborhood, a new bus – new mean kids, even seeing the new address printed on the mailing envelopes was tough change for a third grader to comprehend in her heart… but looking back, I didn’t mind it. Those experiences taught valuable life lessons and devoted me to character development. This year, however, marks the seven year anniversary since our (my husband and daughters) move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest. Take me back to the girl seven years ago and tell her that today, she’d be looking at opening the doors to her own firm and that desire is on fire because God has called her very stubborn heart to glorify Him in the best way she could – I would laugh and laugh because you see, despite faring well in the midst of change, I was finally settling for stability even though something about it wasn’t fulfilling. I WANTED to settle. But what I’m learning is change may always be a part of my life AND God will always be constant. Trusting God in the midst of change.
I love that so much! “Change may always be a part of my life AND God will always be constant.” Thanks for sharing your heart on how you’re glorifying God even when fears creep in. It’s so encouraging to hear.
Betty De Boef says
Laura- this is SO nicely written! It really shows you heart! And your willingness to say, albeit reluctantly, “I will go where you want me to go, dear Lord!” We ALL have those moments in our lives, and reading through the comments, God has used you, just in this fine article, to encourage many of your sisters in Christ! Thank you for sharing this insightful piece!
I am sorry I have gotten so busy that I have not taken the opportunity to get to know you better! I hope you have been able to feel the same way about Oskaloosa! I know Harold has really enjoyed Ryan’s teaching on Wed evenings!
Thanks, Betty! Those moments come quite often for me, to trust Him in little things as well as big changes. I know you and Harold are in California right now, so no worries! We do feel the same way about living here and I’m glad Harold has enjoyed Ryan’s class! 🙂
Beautiful-so encouraging, thank you for sharing.
You’re welcome, Janet!
This resounded with me so perfectly today. My daughter was in a serious car accident on New Year’s Eve. She fractured her spine and underwent a serious surgery. A single mom of 4, she found herself out of a car, unable to work, and I moved in to become her caregiver as well as her 4 children.
We had no idea how we would get through this, no work meant no money coming in for the bills.
Meals were provided every day. Cards and money started pouring in at an overwhelming rate.
And indeed, we walked through the darkness toward the light.
Thank you for your post.
I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s accident. It’s a blessing just hearing how God is providing for her right now. I’m praying for you as you care for the family, and for your daughter as well.
Thank you for this truth. Yesterday in prayer the Lord gave me Isaiah 41:10. I was on a spiritual high yesterday and today I feel like I”m under the bus. Then I read your devotional and you quoted Isaiah 41:13. Thank you for this truth. I needed to know that God has a plan and He will hold my hand through this process. God is good!
That’s amazing. I love how those verses speak to trusting God to guide, not being afraid, and Him holding your hand. It’s awesome that He wants you to know that today!
Thank you so much for this post today. A big change occurred for me this past Sunday when I received a call right before leaving for church from one of my closest friend’s son saying that she had passed. Since the 80’s she has been there for me through all the ups and downs of my life, and she was also my spiritual mentor. I have spent the last 3 days wondering why she had to leave me, and wondering what I will do without her constant support and encouragement. I am very happy for her though, because when they found her she had a big smile on her face. I think because she saw Jesus! ☺ Thanks again for this wonderful message, and for the reassurance that God is always with us.
I’m so sorry for your loss. What a lovely friend you had, and what a joy she has now! God will never leave you, and I’m so glad He’s reminding you that you aren’t alone.
Beth Williams says
In times of change or adversity I cling to Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future”. We don’t know what lies ahead. Each adversity or change could lead to something much more exciting than we ever expected. God wants to give us so much more than we could ever imagine. We must learn to trust God in ALL circumstances. Right now a good friend of mine just got diagnosed with breast cancer. She is having to trust God & the doctors for her treatment & I pray eventual cure!!
It can be so hard to trust Him in difficult times. Thanks so much for sharing your heart, Beth.
Rebecca L Jones says
That’s what we forget, that He is eternal and sees past present and future and is the same, yesterday, today and forevermore. Hebrews 13:8, and if we can ever listen the Holy Spirit will show us these plans and what to avoid, now that’s love.
I love the fact that we can rely on God to stay the same. Thanks for sharing that beautiful verse!
Oh, that’s so hard, isn’t it, Laura? I know the feeling well. I even feel that way now about moving. (No more moves, please Jesus.) Reminds me of that picture that’s been going around the last few years…where Jesus is kneeling beside a little girl asking for her teddy bear, and she doesn’t want to give it up. She can’t see behind Jesus’ back is a great big teddy bear,He’s waiting to give her once she lets go of the familiar. — That’s us, isn’t it? So glad He’s a patient God. Love how His abundance followed you where His hand guided you. 🙂
Making big changes is so hard for me, but He’s with me every step of the way. That prayer you threw out there at the beginning is one I completely understand. And what a sweet picture of learning to let go so God can bless us. Thanks for sharing, Brenda!
So thankful for your beautifully written letter to sisters in Christ.
(Is “in courage” just for woman? I never thought about it, but never saw any man commenting here).
I love reading all of the posts here – heart- shared- experiences of the journey in this very short life on the earth before we get to our Eternal Home!
All my life since childhood I had to move form place to place, from country to country, I am Armenian….
I gave my life to Christ in 1999 – and it became completely different from how I handle and go through the big changes.
God helped me to learn English and it was for His plan. I taught myself- but I know it was His presence and guidance.
After 7 years in South Korea, my husband in a few months will be moving to China. Knowing it is GOD’s will and we pray for His will in our lives – we have His absolute Shalom!
His plans are sufficient, they are fulfilling, – and the most wonderful!
May the LORD JESUS bless you all and keep you in HIS sweet presence!
All the Glory to our ABBA FATHER! – WHO Was, WHO Is, and always WILL BE!! The GREAT I AM!!
You’ve been through so much change, and I know you have such a great perspective because of it. Thank you so much for sharing his peace with us!
Beautifully said, dear friend – and aren’t you in Iowa now? Doesn’t that mean you cried and prayed again?? (: I bet you moved with more confidence after seeing God’s work the time before. Love that line: comfortable and safe is another way to say trust God (or something like that! ) Lessons we keep learning over and over!
You know me too well, Sue. I had an easier time moving back to my “home state,” if you can call it that, so we could be closer to family. There’s a story in that move as well, of course, but it reads more like a challenge in circumstances than one in faith. I’ll have to tell you it sometime! Thanks for reading and agreeing. ❤
Change is hard even when we expect it. But it is needed at times. I truly believe that if we all stayed in our little own world, our own bubble, we soon would become so comfortable and be so content that we forget there are others out there that need us. We talk about our needs and wants and what is easy for us. It is when we are able to get pass all that and truly help those who need the Lord, this will bring us contentment and bring glory to God. We don’t want the change but the change is what we need if we are to serve our God completely. We never know whose lives we are changing. Have faith and trust that everything works for the good even when we don’t see it. Have a beautiful day!
Maylee, this is so well said! Thanks for sharing your heart about becoming uncomfortable in order for God to work through us.